AVA, Mo.–Buying wood to heat homes this winter is one less thing people in Douglas County have to worry about. The sawmill, Master Dream USA has teamed up with the sheriff’s office to ensure people stay warm who can’t afford it.
It started a couple of weeks ago after Master Dream USA owner, Allison Shen supported the idea to help those who need it most in the community.
Swing after swing, split after split, chopping wood is what some might call back breaking work. It’s all worth it though, says yard manager, Kevin McDaniel to put a smile on people’s faces.
“Whenever we see people leave here happy and they’re not worried that much anymore and they can do a little bit longer without having to worry about heating,” says McDaniel.
So far, the mill has given away close to 50 truck loads of wood. The people who receive it are typically elderly, disabled, and low income. There’s also one other requirement; you can’t be involved in illegal activity; hence where law enforcement comes into the picture.
“We wanted to make sure that it didn’t go to people that were at the center of an investigation by our department so we wanted to make sure that the wood got to the right people,” says Sheriff Chris Degase.
After getting approved by the sheriff’s office, you will get a wood voucher.
“We’re getting close to 100 vouchers now,” says Sheriff Degase.
From there, the sheriff’s department and church leaders will help get the wood to a person’s home if necessary.
“We’ve had inmates that have gotten out and actually went and helped unload wood. We’ve had several pastors in the community who have came in, used their personal vehicles, they’ve delivered the wood,” says Sheriff Degase.
McDaniel calls the wood program a win win for everybody.
“We had all of this wood here and everyone just wanted to go ahead and make sure we get some use out of it and we had so much of it. Don’t charge them, the wood prices just keep going up every single year and I think this was just a great opportunity to show that as a new company, we’re here for the community,” says McDaniel.
Providing wood is something McDaniel says the mill wants to do every year and start even earlier next year.